Looking Forward to 2019

Posted On December 28, 2018

Filed under daily life, Through the Bible

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Yes, it’s that time of year. The Christmas “recycling” has been put out, most of the cookies and other goodies are gone; TV, news and media is full of “best and worst and what happened” in 2018 . . . .

 

Looking back is good and healthy (there is a reason why the Facebook “you have memories for today” app is so popular) but looking forward, making plans (notice I did not say resolutions), thinking ahead has merit.

 

Would you join me in reading through the Bible in 2019?

 

This is not a self-serving “announcement” so you will think ________of me. This is actually an admission — as my health continues to deteriorate, I must deliberately fight the tendency to isolate. I know that as long as God has me here on earth, He has purpose for me. That purpose involves people.

 

Hebrews 10:23-25 CSB – 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.

 

Maybe you have an established plan that you have used for years;

Maybe you have “tried and failed” so many times that you just don’t even think about it anymore;

Maybe “I don’t have time” is the first thought in your head;

Maybe you have not thought about doing such a “normal and basic” activity in community . . .

 

This year I am going to read through the Bible using the “blended plan” which can be found on Blue Letter Bible 

Note: if you decide to “subscribe” you must do so on January 1 so that the readings will start on January 1. If you just download and/or print out the .pdf, it is easy to fold into a bookmark and tuck into your Bible.

 

Then, “how” you read is up to you and your schedule. There are audio options. You choose the translation. You choose the time of day, or if you will break up the reading into several times per day.

 

Each Friday I will post here on the blog, with some of my thoughts from the past week’s reading — what I have learned about God and His ways; how God has provided Scripture to be my “way of escape” from sin’s temptation; how the Spirit has encouraged me through His Word; a lie that is exposed so I can replace it with God’s truth;  (you get the idea) . . .

 

There will be space for you to comment, and I would love for you to do so! Did you “miss” a day or two? Please don’t give up. Jump back in on the current day, and comment on what you have read. If Friday is “not a good day” for you . . .there are 7 days in a week, after all . . .

 

This is how Jesus prayed for his disciples, just before he died on the cross for our sins . . .

John 17:14-18 CSB – 14 “I have given them your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 “I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 “As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (emphasis mine)

 

God gave us a tremendous, life-changing gift. Let’s dig in and share it together! I look forward to hearing from you next week, as we discuss days 1-3.

 

Risky Faith

Posted On June 17, 2018

Filed under daily life, Meditations

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Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. . . And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (ESV)

This assurance, this conviction must be based on who God is. What I think I need, what I want, is based on my perspective, which is notoriously self-focused. God alone is sovereign and omniscient — He who created the universe knows what is for my best.

Why the title of “risky faith?” What will you do if the answer is “no?” What if life looks dramatically different from what you expected? What if current circumstances do not make sense? What if “why?” does not receive a clear answer?

Biblical faith draws near to God, and believes His character is unchanging. The God who “rewarded” you with a special blessing or good health or the extra check in the mail is the same God now, when the check doesn’t come, or the doctor visit is not “good news” or the job is lost or the relationship is fractured. Biblical faith is the assurance that God is for me. Biblical faith is the conviction that though I cannot see it, God is always at work for my good and His glory.

God is the same today, as He was when He told Abram long ago, “I am your shield, and your great reward” (Genesis 15)

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